Government orders bookies to pay racing £100m

Britain’s bookmakers have been ordered by the government to pay the racing industry £100 million after talks between the two parties broke down.

“It is a matter of serious regret to the government that we have again found ourselves in the position of having to make a determination,'' said Gerry Sutcliffe, MP for Culture, Media and Sport.

“It would clearly have been more appropriate for the betting and racing industries to have agreed a suitable settlement between themselves.”

The fee will go towards prize money and programs to care for horses.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) had asked bookmakers for 15 per cent of their expected winnings for the upcoming year, which equates to approximately £135 million. So in that sense, the bookmakers must be happy.

But in another sense they won’t. The Association of Bookmakers were originally only willing to give £35 million to the horse racing industry claiming they were being hampered by higher television costs after Turf TV broke up the monopoly enjoyed by Satellite Information Services (SIS) on televised racing in bookie shops. Bookies now need to pay subscriptions to two companies to televise all available races.

Editor, - 2008-02-20 11:48:34

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